Les Grands Verres
Best decor of 2018
“Fewer choices, better choices!” With its airport-hangar-sized space and 170 seats, the new restaurant at the Palais de Tokyo could have easily gone overboard. But instead, they opted for a pared-down spot as envisioned by the Quixotic Projects team (Mary Céleste, Candelaria, Hero…), with cozy décor by interior designer Lina Ghotmeh: intimate box-like benches, warm lighting and a long compacted soil bar, the heart of the space, where you can spend an evening in the company of the bartenders. For us, the night we went, after a carrot top pesto and jewel-like vegetables with a pronounced bitter flavor, there was an extremely fresh fattouche salad with crispy pita (€10), flash-seared cuttlefish with grilled cucumbers, yogurt, apricot purée, almonds and thyme (€23, and maybe one too many flavors…), and, for the worldly finale, semifreddo with halva and pistachio dukkah (€8). What’s in the glasses? Insane cocktails, like the moussey “03” with rum, grilled eggplant jus, verjus, and “aquafaba” (a legume jus that replaces egg whites in vegan recipes!) and small producer wines (Thierry Puzelat, Fanny Sabre, Pierre Fenals…) from €5-8 a glass. And when the weather is nice, make sure to take advantage of the huge terrace with views of the Eiffel Tower! Set menu €23 (weekday lunch). // A.P.